5 Popular AA Awards You Should Definitely Book Before March 22 Devaluation

by Miguel R. Quinones

AA Repaint

We are now less than two weeks away from the March 22 American Airlines AAdvantage devaluation. While the rates for most routes are going up, the following is a list of five of the most popular AA awards that you definitely want to book before the devaluation (in no particular order):

1. First Class Awards to Europe

You could argue that business class is good enough for travel to Europe. While that is true, at only 62,500 miles, first class AA awards to Europe are among the best values around. On March 22, the rate for first class awards to Europe will jump to 85,000. That is an awful lot of miles for flights that are mostly under ten hours long.

2. First Class Awards to Asia 2

You can currently book a first class award to the Asia 2 Region (which includes Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Myanmar, among other popular destinations) for only 67,500 miles. In my opinion, this is currently the best use of AA miles you can make. Unfortunately, in twelve days a first class award to Asia 2 will require 110,000 miles. Ouch!

3. Business Class Awards to South Pacific

While it is not easy to find business class availability with AA and their partners to Australia and New Zealand (thanks in great part to routing restrictions that prohibit connections in Asia for these awards), award availability with non-alliance partners Air Tahiti Nui and Fiji Airways to French Polynesia and Fiji, respectively, is relatively easy to find. But, if you want to book a business class award to either of those two wonderful destinations (or any other South Pacific country) it is going to cost you an extra 17,500 miles each way to do so on March 22.

4. First Class Transcontinental Awards

AA’s A321 transcon first class is the best way to fly from coast to coast (although Adam might disagree). You can currently book such an award on a stand-alone basis for only 32,500 miles, which is a bargain considering that is only 7,500 more miles than business class. On March 22, the rate for this award goes up to a ridiculous 50,000 miles, making it arguably the worst value in the post-devaluation AA award chart.

5. First Class Awards to Middle East/Indian Subcontinent

If you want to experience Etihad’s First Class Apartments you better book it soon. With a post-devaluation rate of 115,000 miles (compared to 90,000 miles now), such a booking will be difficult to justify despite its extraordinary reputation.

Bottom Line

These are far from the only awards that should be booked before the March 22 devaluation, but they are five popular awards for which everyone should definitely make an effort to complete a booking pre-devaluation if such a trip is in the plans.

Need assistance with your next award trip? Consider the PMM Travel Consulting or Juicy Miles award booking services for all your redemption needs.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


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Bill S March 10, 2016 - 12:50 pm

Good luck finding any of these rewards. I am in the process of searching now.There are some business class options to Asia, but that’s about it. I see a good bit of Europe awards available, but they are all on BA, and come with huge fees.

Raj March 10, 2016 - 1:15 pm

No first class to Asia 1 or 2 anywhere. Ended up booking some business class. There is some Ethiad AUH- NYC on 777 far out but only one way and can’t connect to asia 2

Miguel R. Quinones March 10, 2016 - 1:42 pm

Bill, I would say that there is good to great availability for all five of these routes as long as you can book at least six months in advance.

Raj March 10, 2016 - 2:01 pm

Can’t find much first class toward the end of the schedule in CP and JAl was hoping to use it as a place holder. Also worried when the time comes to change will have no First to change dates.

Miguel R. Quinones March 10, 2016 - 2:11 pm

Raj, Cathay Pacific is all but not releasing first class seats on their U.S. flights or at the very least any such seats made available are gone by the time AA opens up award availability.. It should be easier with JAL. The problem with JAL is that they tend to release award space in bunches. It looks like they have not done so for the dates you want.

Chrs R March 10, 2016 - 2:11 pm

I’ll use Avianca LifeMiles for J and F to Europe/South America awards going forward. I’ll use my remaining AA miles for future Japan/Korea to Australia on J (which actually drops by 5K miles to 40K – not bad for a 9 plus hour flight) or F class (which remains at 60K). I don’t mind flying from the Northwest U.S. on a cheap paid economy, taking a rest in Tokyo or Seoul and then flying down under in comfort on JAL,Qantas, Malaysia or Cathay (albeit QF is harder to get, but usually from Asia to OZ you can find J availability). So, we’ve seen the best AA redemption days now coming to an end.

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